James E. Undegraff Sr., 83, a retired tool design engineer for the Marine Corps and woodcutter by avocation, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 12, at his home in Beltsville.

Mr. Updegraff worked as a tool designer in Connecticut and in his native Harrisburg, Pa., for about 13 years before moving to this area in 1939.

He then joined the Naval Gun Factory here as a tool designer, transfering to the Army Corps of engineers in 1952. He was a mechanical engineer with the Engineer's military supply and procurement division until 1957, when he became a tool design engineer at Marine Corps headquarters here. He retired in 1964.

After retiring, Mr. Updegraff was a consultant for several years for the government defense products division of the Pettibone Corp. in Bethesda.

A woodcutter for many years, he specialized in gun stocks and did work for the Maryland State Police. He also was active in the Prince George's Fish and Game Club.

Mr. Updegraff served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He also was a member of Emmanual United Methodist Church in Beltsville.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Sarah L., of Beltsville; a son, James E. Jr., of College Park; a sister, Ethel Siler of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; two brothers, Edward, of San Jose, Calif., and Paul, of Bryans Road, Md., and two grandsons.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Emmanuel United Methodist Church memorial fund.